The community kitchen on the sixth floor at the Institute of Cultural Affairs' building in Chicago is open and ready to use!
The remodeled kitchen at 4750 N. Sheridan Rd. took six months to finish, but according to those attending an inaugural potluck dinner celebration, it was worth it.
ICA Facilities Manager Lesley Showers said the kitchen before remodeling was outdated and not very welcoming. The room, meant to be used by residents of the intentional community on the seventh floor, had been designed as a commercial kitchen and was not practical as a community space. The plumbing and wiring were redone. New energy efficient appliances and cabinets made with eco-friendly materials were added. The kitchen also received a hand-built greenhouse for growing leafy greens and herbs.
There has been a very positive reaction from those living and working in the building. More than twenty residents, colleagues and staff attended the potluck dinner in the new kitchen.
"I had been watching the kitchen go through the transformation and it was fantastic to look at," said Assistant Facilities Manager Tyra Taylor, who attended the potluck. "Not until the potluck dinner did I realize what a catalyst the kitchen could be to make a group of people into an intentional community." Lesley said that she's already been getting requests to use the kitchen for gatherings and fundraisers.